Friends of NRA

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Friends of NRA
Friends of NRA NEW Logo.jpg
Founded 1992
Type Program of The NRA Foundation, Inc.
Focus Supporting shooting sports programs
  • Headquarters in Fairfax, VA
Area served
United States
$600 million since inception
Slogan Fundraising for the Future of the Shooting Sports

Friends of NRA is a grassroots fund-raising program conceptualized by National Rifle Association of America's Wayne Sheets and MidwayUSA's Founder and CEO, Larry Potterfield.[1] The program fosters community involvement, raises money, and gives 100 percent of the net proceeds to qualified local, state, and national programs. Working with the NRA's field staff, thousands of volunteers nationwide participate in the program by organizing committees and planning events in their communities. Monies raised at these events go to The NRA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.[2]

Established in 1990, The NRA Foundation raises tax-deductible contributions in support of a wide range of firearm related public interest activities of the National Rifle Association of America and other organizations that defend and foster the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans. These activities are designed to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological and artistic context. Funds granted by The NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth, women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement, officers, hunters, and competitive shooters.[3]


Since its inception in 1992, Friends of NRA has held over 17,600 events, reached over 3.2 million attendees and raised over $600 million for The NRA Foundation.[4]

A typical Friends of NRA event starts with a reception that includes games, raffles and a silent auction. Attendees will eat dinner and listen to a guest speaker, if one is present. The evening will conclude with a live auction and winners are chosen from the games, raffles and silent auction.[5]


Friends of NRA is coordinated by NRA Field Representatives, but the majority of the program is organized by thousands of volunteers throughout the country. To recognize the efforts made by volunteers, Friends of NRA implemented the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009 to recognize those who made an impact on the program at the local or regional levels.[6]


To raise money at Friends of NRA events, each event utilizes merchandise from the "Standard Merchandise Package" and donations from local companies and individuals. The "Standard Merchandise Package" varies from year to year and features items that are unique, custom, or limited-in-production, and in some cases, available only at Friends of NRA events.[7]

High Caliber Club[edit]

Events that raise a certain amount of money, at least $25,000, become members of the High Caliber Club. The High Caliber Club events have the chance to auction off an exclusive firearm at their next banquet. Roughly 25% of all banquets are eligible to enter the High Caliber Club.[8]

Annual meeting[edit]

Every year at the NRA Annual Meeting, The NRA Foundation hosts two events: The National NRA Foundation Banquet and the Wall of Guns. The annual National NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction starts the fundraising weekend with a Friends of NRA-style event. In 2015, over 2,000 people attended. Over 6,700 people played the "Wall of Guns," which featured over 70 firearms resulting in over $119,000 raised for The NRA Foundation.[9]


Corporate sponsors[edit]

In 2011, Friends of NRA formally launched its National Corporate Sponsor Program. Through the development of the Friends of NRA National Corporate Sponsor Program, companies are able to show their leadership and support to the shooting sports community.

Individual sponsors[edit]

The Friends of NRA National Sponsor program was created in 2002 to help forward the mission of The NRA Foundation and the programs it supports. Since its inception in 2002, over 100,000 people have become Friends of NRA sponsors totaling $35 million in gross dollars raised for The NRA Foundation.[10]


Each individual sponsor receives a copy of Traditions, The NRA Foundation's quarterly magazine. Traditions was "designed to inform readers about the successful mission of the foundation to promote and expand our shooting sports traditions. Our purpose with this publication is to bring you — our supporters, volunteers, grant recipients and other interested parties — information about The NRA Foundation and the success of our grant program and Friends of NRA fundraising efforts."[11]

Supported shooting sports and safety programs[edit]

The NRA Foundation grants provide program funding that ensures the availability of quality training and educational opportunities nationwide. Grants benefit programs such as youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training and safety.[12]

NRA Youth Education Summit[edit]

The National Rifle Association launched the Youth Education Summit in 1996 in an effort to encourage America's youth to become active and knowledgeable citizens at both the national and local levels. The NRA Foundation provides all funding for the program through monies raised by Friends of NRA events.[13]

According to its website:

Forty-five to fifty outstanding current high school sophomores and juniors from across the United States are chosen each year to travel to the nation’s capital, where they participate in the weeklong educational opportunity. The summit encourages young adults to become active and knowledgeable U.S. citizens by learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal government, and the importance of being active in civic affairs.

Since the program's inception in 1996, over 700 students have graduated from Y.E.S. and more than $400,000 in scholarships has been awarded.[14]

Hunter safety and services[edit]

The NRA, working in cooperation with the State of New York in 1949, developed basic hunter safety training. Since then, hunting education principles have been adopted by many states and they've expanded their services and assistance to hunters.

The NRA Hunter Safety and Services department provides advanced training for young hunters, research and tactics for hunting success, public works that benefit hunters, and a 52-square-mile hunting and shooting facility called the NRA Whittington Center.[15]

National Firearms Museum[edit]

According to its website:

Displays in 15 galleries with more than 2,700 rare and significant firearms depict the history of Americans and their guns, tracing six centuries of firearms evolution - from the simplest of hand cannons and early days when each piece was the product of a skilled artisan, to mass firearms in the Industrial Revolution and today's cutting-edge innovations. Exhibits also demonstrate the many uses of guns for early settlement, military, police, hunting, competition and personal defense.[16]

Friends of NRA TV show[edit]

The NRA Foundation first premiered the Friends of NRA TV show on January 2, 2011 on the Outdoor Channel. Co-hosts Jessie Duff, a professional, world-class shooter, and former MLB player, and outdoor personality, Matt Duff, introduce viewers to the Friends of NRA program.[17] The third and final Season of the Friends of NRA TV show debuted on January 6, 2013.


  1. ^ "Missouri hosts last Friends of NRA event of 2012 this Friday" (Press release). NRAblog. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  2. ^ "Friends of NRA Reaches $400 Million Milestone" (Press release). NRA. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  3. ^ The NRA Foundation, Charity Navigater
  4. ^ Melzer, Scott (1 September 2012). Gun Crusaders: The NRA's Culture War. New York: NYU Press. pp. 66–74. ISBN 978-0-8147-6450-3. 
  5. ^ Bruce, John M.; Wilcox, Clyde (1998). The Changing Politics of Gun Control. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 157–159. ISBN 978-0-8476-8615-5. 
  6. ^ "2011 Friends of NRA Volunteers of the Year Announced" (Press release). NRA. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  7. ^ 2011 Friends of NRA Merchandise Package
  8. ^ Friends of NRA High Caliber Club
  9. ^ Traditions: Quarter 2 2013, pgs 3-8
  10. ^ Rodengen, Jeffrey L. (2002). NRA: An American Legend. Write Stuff Enterprises, Incorporated. pp. 292–294. ISBN 978-0-945903-81-9. 
  11. ^ The NRA Foundation Traditions Magazine
  12. ^ The NRA Foundation Supported Programs
  13. ^ "NRA announces 2012 Youth Education Summit participants" (Press release). NRA. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  14. ^ National Rifle Association Youth Education Summit
  15. ^ NRA Hunter Services
  16. ^ National Firearms Museum
  17. ^ "Friends Of NRA Television Show Debuts January 2, 2011" (Press release). NRA. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 

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